Published on 17 October 2014 by Rhi
First off, let me be completely clear- there is no sure fire way to win at blackjack. You can never know exactly which cards are coming next, nor can you control the other players around you, however rather than being a game based completely on chance, there is a way of playing- a strategy- which can help you make decisions that may increase your chances of beating the dealer in the long run.
The biggest misconception about Blackjack is “the aim is to get to 21”. It’s not. The aim of blackjack is to beat the dealer. It doesn’t matter what cards you have, so long as either;
- You’re closer to 21 than the dealer
- The dealer goes bust.
and perfect or basic strategy is a set of principles which should be used to help aid you in your decision making when it comes to hitting, standing and splitting. Having said that, you don’t have to play strictly by its rules, simply bear it in mind when acting on each hand. As I said, this wont guarantee you to win and should not be wholly relied upon, but if you want to give yourself the best chance at this game of chance, then it’s worth understanding the basic principles.
What is Perfect Strategy?
Perfect Strategy is a set of instructions, telling you whether to hit, stand or split depending on what points your cards have versus the dealers up-card. So, in the infographic below you can see which action to take for each hand to try and get the most beneficial outcome (which might not always be winning).
How does it work?
So, you can see the dealer’s up-cards along the top and the player hand vertically along the left. The numbers display the total points, so 16 for example, could be any cards which make 16, except two 8s, which is listed in the bottom box. The dealer has 2, you have 16. According to perfect strategy you should STAND. But, as you can see in the bottom box, if you’re 16 is made up of two 8’s, you should split them.
Or, as another example, if the dealer’s up-card is 7 and your card(s) total between 5-8 then you should HIT, but if your cards total 10 or 11 you should DOUBLE, which means doubling your stake.
There are some other tips when playing perfect strategy too, such as;
- Never take insurance (if the dealer’s up-card is an Ace, they can give you the chance to play insurance where you lay out half your stake, and if they do get blackjack you’re paid at 2-1).
- Always stand on a hard 17 or higher.
- Always play two 5’s as a 10- you’ll notice they’re not in the bottom box with other double cards. Don’t split them, simply act as if they were a 10, so check the player hand 10 line and act accordingly.
Netent offers a number of blackjack games both in video table game format and in their live casino. You can play their games for free in our Games Lounge, but remember that perfect strategy only works when you are playing against real cards and real dealers like in Netent’s Live Casino. When playing against their video table games the system uses a random number generator and, although perfect strategy is still a good basis to follow, it’s not nearly as reliable.